- 2 cups whole blanched almonds (10 ounces)
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 large carrots (10 ounces), coarsely chopped
- 4 large eggs, separated
- Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 400°. Generously butter and flour a 10-inch springform or fluted cake pan. Toast the almonds on a rimmed baking sheet for about 8 minutes, or until lightly browned. Transfer the almonds to a large plate to cool to room temperature. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°.
- In a large mixing bowl, using a fork, blend the flour with the baking powder, lemon zest and a pinch of salt. In a food processor, grind the toasted almonds with the sugar to a fine powder; do not let the nuts turn into a paste. Add the almond powder to the flour mixture in the bowl. Add the carrots to the processor and whir until very finely chopped; add them to the bowl. Add the egg yolks to the bowl and stir until blended.
- In a large stainless steel bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they hold firm peaks. Using a rubber spatula, stir one-third of the egg whites into the carrot mixture to loosen it, then gently fold in the remaining whites until the batter is just blended.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until the cake is just set. Transfer the cake to a rack and let it cool slightly in the pan. Unmold the cake onto a serving dish. Just before serving, sift confectioners' sugar over the top. Serve warm or at room temperature.
The cake can be wrapped in foil and refrigerated for up to 1 week. Do not sift the confectioners' sugar over the top before refrigerating.